View Full Version : HLCD speaker for the 2004 tower speaker pods

03-01-2012, 10:18 AM
I am finally replacing my stereo in my 2004 X-star and I am looking for some HLCD's to go in my tower speaker pods. I have the older style pods that accept 6.5" speakers. I am replacing the in boat speakers with Wetsounds XS-650 and was hoping to keep my speaker pods and replace the speakers with HLCD's. Wetsounds only sells HLCD's with pods so is there any other speakers that people are using in their tower? Does Wetsounds sell their HLCD's with out the speaker pods?

Heres a picture of the set up as it is.


Jeff d
03-01-2012, 10:33 AM
The only podless options I'm aware of are the Krypt and Kicker HLCDs. I have no experience with either but have been paying attention because I'd be interested in throwing some in my pods if the price was right.

Some people seem pretty happy with the Krypts and they can be had for under $200 per pair on eBay. Others say they're Chinese junk.

People seem pretty happy with the Kicker KM6500.2 HLCD component set but they require 4 pods as the tweeters take up a whole 6.5" pod. They can be had for $500 new or $280 refurbished.

03-01-2012, 11:16 AM
In this particular case, the Kicker HLCD is not an option because it is component style and requires four pods to house one set of speakers (two horns & two midbass). However, when you use the dual midbass version of this speaker (requiring six pods) it sounds pretty good.
Wetsounds is in the process of closing out their 6.5" HLCDs. Bullet HollowPoint already has discontinued their 6.5" HLCDs. Here is why. A 'horn loaded compression driver' pertains to a powerful prosound/theater/sound reinforcement type of tweeter. A smaller 6.5" midbass cannot keep pace with such a powerful horn tweeter. As a result all 6.5"s are overly bright without much midbass balance and no midbass extension. Tons of people who initially started with 6.5" HLCDs have learned and have eventually upgraded with larger replacements or supplemented these speakers with additional midbass drivers (Double-Up) or warmer surf speakers (Hybrid).
I would recommend that you start out by doing it right. Use nothing smaller than a 7.7" HLCD.
The Wetsounds REV8 uses an 8" HLCD in the same compact pod that the previous Pro60 used.
Yes, you will have to change out the pods but you will be totally satisfied for the long haul.

Earmark Marine

03-01-2012, 12:28 PM
Thanks for the replys guys. Earmark, so what you are saying is the 6.5 HLCDs are subpar on the mid bass and that is really all the short comings. I already have an aftermarket sub that gives me all the bass I need. I would really just like to add some sound while riding. Not looking for crazy loud, but able to hear what song is playing while 80 feet back.

Would this be possible by adding a 6.5 HLCD?

Right now my options are:
1) throw some XS-650's in and deal with it
2) Put in some HLCDs in the factory tower pods and be able to hear it while riding
3) Or sell my factory pods and run Rev 8's

03-01-2012, 01:50 PM
The midbass David is referring to is what you hear from the tower speakers themselves. The sub won't help here. If you go with the 6.5's it will be way too bright, almost painful IMO. The midbass of the HLCD speakers helps balance the tweeter and tame it down. I'd agree that the only way to go is to sell your factory cans and run Rev8's or Bullets. I have Bullets and really like them. I have heard the Rev10's and they are great also. Make sure you are running plenty of power to either choice (Run the max the speaker is rated at, in RMS).

03-01-2012, 02:10 PM
I wasn't thinking in terms of true bass as no tower system in pods less than a 50 gallon drum and suspended in open air will produce deep bass. I was refering to midbass which is to capture enough of the lower midrange, vocals and upper bass harmonics to sound plausible as a stand alone speaker. Its kind of like a home theater satellite. You can't use just five tweeters and a sub.
Can a single pair of 6.5" HLCDs project at 80 feet in the face of wind and exhaust noise? Barely with just treble but its not musical and they are extremely strident to listen to near field.
My first choice would be a single pair of Wetsounds REV8s. They will project and yet are very musical and balanced for listening in or around the boat also.
My second choice would be to run a larger 7.7 or 8-inch surf speaker. It will not project with the same command as an 8-inch HLCD but it will compete in projection with a 6.5" HLCD and be far more enjoyable to listen to.
My third choice would be to install a pair of the Wetsounds XS-650 coaxials in the existing pods. A metal dome is aggressive enough to give you some projection and with a continous midbass cone you will be better off at the low end versus the raw 6.5" HLCD choices.

Earmark Marine

03-01-2012, 07:28 PM
I just did the kickers and while its not wetsounds.......it ended up being roughly 1/4 of the price. I'll put my extra 700 in pabst and they'll sound the same after 3 or 4

03-02-2012, 09:19 AM
I understand what you are saying about midbass, because I have noticed on some stereos that its really loud but harsh sounding.

At this point I am thinking about just putting some XS-650's in the tower and giving them a shot. I have a huge stereo on the houseboat so I don't need my boat to be crazy loud. I would like to hear music while riding, but to get decent sound back there it looks to cost $2,500+.

I will let you all know what I think about the decision once I install it and get some time on it.

03-02-2012, 09:21 AM
Just get a set of used pro 80s and an amp to power them. You should be able to do that for $800 or so. Lots of people are upgrading to rev10s and selling pro80s. You could probably sell your factory tower cans and make some of that money back. There is no way you have to spend $2500 to get decent sound to the rider.

03-02-2012, 09:30 AM
No way does a substantial single pair of HLCDs with proper amplifier run $2500. Think in terms of roughly half of that getting you close to the best in sound quality with some reel authority at 80 feet.

Earmark Marine

03-02-2012, 01:25 PM
Here's a post from another site with some info for ya to consider.


I am one of the very very minority here. I really don't like the sound from the Rev 8's for my application. I use my speakers 90% of the time while boarding and ride mainly on a smaller private lake. While without a doubt they are the truest sounding tower speakers on the market, they are just too much for me inside my boat, like this person mentioned in the link above. Could be my older tower design with the pods right above driver and passengers head, but for us it's a noticeable difference from my Pro 80's. I prefer the projection I get from the 80's and the little less mid. It's super noticeable to us in the change from the pro 80's to the rev 8's. I was also asked by some of the people around the lake what I did when I mounted the Rev 8's because the sound on the shore seemed to have incresed as well with the 8's. While I can't say that is fact or fiction, it was said nonetheless. If I listened to my stereo chilling or in a party cove environment more than 3 or 4 times a year I would 100% without a doubt have kept my Rev 8's. However, again I am in the minority here, I really prefer the performance of the 80's for my application as at the end of the line that true sound is negligible and you don't see such a dispersed sound signal .

The Bullets are a great speaker at a decent pricepoint as well.

I have owned the Krypt 6.5 HLCD's and you can hear them easily when powered correctly. Throw 200watts RMS at em and tune them correctly and you can hear them all day long. I would not hesitate to recommend them for the budget concious if you catch them on sale. They were made by sending a Wetsounds Pro 60 to China and have them reproduce it. Krypt has pretty much knocked off Wetsounds' EQ as well. While the 6.5 HLCD's are not the loudest at 80ft or the most friendly with lows, they are 10 times better than those Clarions or any regular coax. The Krypts are still running strong after 4 seasons, now on a buddies boat. It's the easiest way to upgrade and get tunes back there. Just all depends how much you want to hear and spend. However without a sale on the 6.5hlcds you can easily pick up a set of used Pro 80's for around the same cost of those 6.5 HLCD's if you can keep an eye out and be patient. Also rumor has it Wetsounds is releasing another new line to replace their 485's so people will again be ditching their old stuff

03-02-2012, 01:36 PM
Does anyone make a 7.7" HLCD that could replace the JLs in the MC tower cans?

03-02-2012, 01:57 PM
Does anyone make a 7.7" HLCD that could replace the JLs in the MC tower cans?

The Bullet Neos are a direct replacement for the 7.7" JLs.
Bullet Neo HLCD Speakers (http://www.bulletspeakers.com/drivers/770-hp-neo-ss-hlcds-speaker)

Edit: changed link to the true drop in speaker-no drilling required.

03-02-2012, 02:00 PM
The Bullet Neos are now a direct replacement for the MC cans(no drilling). The older style Bullet 770's fit as well, but you need to drill new holes to mount the speaker in the can.

03-02-2012, 02:04 PM
Pertaining to the post referenced from Wakeworld. Who knows why or how that individual arrived at his conclusions. The facts are that a) a GREAT majority prefer the smoother response of the REV8 over the more peaky response of the Pro80 for near field listening. Any SQ differences will certainly be diminished at 80 feet. b) the construction of the two related to the horn and the dispersion is virtually identical so there should not be any difference in the in-boat off-axis radiation. c) the in-boat radiation is mostly a function of volume. The louder you play it to the rider the more in-boat radiation you will have.

Yes, Bullet HollowPoint has a 770 NEO HLCD with a six hole pattern that retros into the MC pods containing the JL Audio 7.7s.

Earmark Marine

03-02-2012, 02:56 PM
Yes, Bullet HollowPoint has a 770 NEO HLCD with a six hole pattern that retros into the MC pods containing the JL Audio 7.7s.

Cool thanks. Any experience with these speakers? How do they compare to the WS pro-80s or Rev8?

03-02-2012, 02:59 PM
I left out that I am looking at a new X-star seeing as this will be its 8th season. I am really just looking for something to get me to next year.

03-02-2012, 03:39 PM
As a dealer for both Wetsounds and Bullet HollowPoint my favorite is....sorry, I'm not going there.
The HollowPoint NEO 770 is the best speaker for projection that you can fit in the factory MC pod by a country mile. While the original JL Audio 7.7s are a great sound quality speaker once you power them better, any conventional non-HLCD speaker is going to struggle at wake range, both in amplitude and intelligibility. The HP 770 NEO will get it done very well at wake range. If you want more going with four makes a big difference. Like any HLCD, they need 150 honest watts per speaker minimum. More power would be better. As a 7.7" there is enough midbass cone to balance with the horn. Its a MAJOR upgrade from any 6.5" HLCD.
Now as you go larger with more surface area, such as an 8 or 10-inch HLCD, you will naturally see increased output with each step. And as you increase pod displacement with a 10-inch HLCD for example then you will get more midbass extension.
If your objective is to just get music to the rider at 70/80 feet without over-driving your speakers then 770s are good. If you want to get really competitve with the bigger systems then ditch your pods and go larger.

Earmark Marine

03-13-2012, 09:03 AM
I ordered my speakers yesterday, I am going to try and get them in here in 3 weeks. That way I will have time to add something before memorial day if I think I need it.

03-13-2012, 10:32 AM
I ordered my speakers yesterday, I am going to try and get them in here in 3 weeks. That way I will have time to add something before memorial day if I think I need it.What did you order?

03-13-2012, 04:42 PM
I bought 4 pairs of the XS-650's and going to just put a pair in my current speaker pods. I think that this will be such an upgrade over the Clarions that it will get me to next summer when I sell the boat.

04-25-2012, 12:05 PM
Got down to my boat this weekend and tried to install the speakers in the factory locations. I started on the tower pods, but the speaker grills are thicker so the factory screws do not work. So I need new screws before I can install the tower speakers.

Moved on to the inboat speakers and found that on 3 of the speaker holes have a little fiberglass that needs to be trimed. So I need to do a quick trim job and they will be in.

Tried the stereo and my amp crapped out over the winter, so will need a new 4 channel amp also. Any recommendations on the amp?

05-15-2012, 01:17 PM
Here is a picture of how the hole in the fiberglass did not match up with the hole on the trim ring. There were 3 of them that needed to be trimmed, but the one at the drivers footwell area needed the most trimming by far. Here it it.

http://sphotos.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/533427_10100847007207655_9405567_53679098_12705189 49_n.jpg

I also ordered a new 4 channel amp and paid for rush shipping to have it for the weekend. I forgot it when switching cars to drive to the lake and didnt get to hear how they are going to sound. Will finish it up Memorial Day weekend and get some pictures.

05-17-2012, 12:35 PM
Keep me updated on your switch. I'm about to replace my tower speakers and don't know what to go with. Are you by chance, in TN?

05-17-2012, 02:18 PM
I think I am doing the wetsounds 650's too. I have a large crack in the cone of my sub so that is taking priority at the moment.

05-17-2012, 04:29 PM
I used to go to UT so I lived in Knoxville for 4 years and bought my boat there. I live in Ohio but keep my boat at Lake Cumberland in Southern Kentucky.

I will have it all installed next weekend for Memorial Day and I will let everyone know what I think about the speakers.

05-29-2012, 09:07 AM
Everything is all installed and working well. I went with the Clarion XN3410 amp http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_33984_Clarion-XN3410.html?utm_source=froogle&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=froogle&rkg_attid=459385803&zmam=75672847&zmas=1&zmac=1&zmap=33984

It seems to have the correct amount of power to run 4 sets of the XS-650. The amp runs 4 channels at 4 ohms at 90 watts. The RMS on the speakers is 4 ohms at 100 watts.

The speakers are really clear but need to have the bass turned down to keep them from bottoming out when turned up loud. I have some more tweeking to do to get it the best it can be. I would rate them a little under the JL audio speakers on performance. They don't have the mid range that I fell like other speakers have. I am happy with them but would like just a little more out of them.

I docked up with 2 of my buddies and they both have 4 rev 8's on the tower and I just saved my battery because its not even close.

05-29-2012, 04:54 PM

the amp will do 165x4 at 2 ohms so you are netting about 80 watts a speaker. This should be good power. The XS-650 can handle a ton of power. But you should be good with what you have.

So one thing to check is the amp settings. The XS-650 have a ton and I mean a ton of mid bass punch. In our demo boat we have 5 pairs, 4 pairs off a SYN-4 and the bow off a SYN Micro. We do demo's with the subs off just to show people how much punch they have and many times people think there is a sub playing.

So if your speakers are bottoming out like you say. Something is not set up correctly.

One of the things you want to check first is the head unit. Make sure it is set flat. It should not have bass up or down or highs up or down. All should be in the middle. Also, if using an ipod or mp3 player, make sure that eq function is set to off or flat as well.

1)Unplug all the RCA’s. Turn all the gains down.

2) Turn the radio up to find the maximum volume. Set the system with the head unit volume at 80 to 85% of max. This is the loudest the radio should go. Radios will create distortion the higher the volume is turned up. Which will create distortion on the output signal before reaching the amps. So find a safe easy to remember volume. If the head unit is 35. Max should be 28 to 30. If the head unit is 40. Maximum should be 30 to 35 and so on.

3) Once you have found the maximum volume set point. Turn the radio back down. Use a test CD that you are familiar with. Or your ipod with good downloads.

4) Plug in just the RCA’s for the in boat speakers. Set the high pass crossover at around 80HZ to 100HZ. Also make sure you have the switch on 2ch or 4ch input and not 2ch BB which is bass boost. So both should be on HP and stereo. Also make sure the button is on X1 and not X10

5) Turn the radio up to the max safe level found in step 2.

6) Slowly turn the gain up until you hear the speakers distort. Slowly back off the gain from that point a small amount until you hear the speakers play as loud as they can with no distortion.

7) Note that you can adjust the high pass and low pass filters to tailor the sound to each boat. As you can set the high pass higher to get more volume but at the expense of losing some low end mid bass.

Once you have it set, you should be getting the volume you want and the mid bass punch. Remember that a speaker reproduces what it is fed. So if it is sent a clipped signal, it will reproduce a clipped signal.

Wet Sounds

05-31-2012, 01:23 AM
Nice information!

I've noticed my tower speakers are either series or parallel as I only have two sets of speaker wires going to my amps from four speakers both on the tower and in the boat. So eight speakers total on a four chanel amp. I have the older clarion that is 50x4 continuous rms. What is the wiring configuration that MC would use and would it produce a 4 ohm or 2 ohm load? I'm interested in the xs-650 but really want some separates to fill the current holes of the clarions.

06-08-2012, 08:51 AM
Heading down this weekend. Going to try and tune in the stereo the best I can.

06-18-2012, 02:05 PM
Adjusted my stereo and much happier with it. The 300 watt amp for the sub is not enough power but it sounds good. They get loud and have full sound. I would say they are on par with the JL audio components. I was hoping they would be better but at half the price, I guess they are better.

I Would really like to have gone with a set of Rev 8's but I will have to wait for my next boat.

06-21-2012, 12:11 AM
Does anyone know whether MC uses parallel or series wiring for the tower and boat? I have four tower speakers and four boat speakers. At the amp there is one set of right and one set of left speaker wire for the tower and the same for the interior.